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Thread: Introducing new cat to old one

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Introducing new cat to old one

    I just rescued a tiny 3 yr old unspayed Tortie from a derelict owner and decrepit, filthy house. I took her immediately to the vet for shots, and will have her spayed in two weeks. At the moment she is separated in another part of my house from my 17 yr old, blind Siamese male. What are the realistic chances for the two of them to end up being able to get along with each other? My Siamese has NEVER had contact with other animals, but the Tortie girl lived with both cats and dogs. I have been gathering information about how to do this, but wanted to ask you practical questions on how you were able to integrate cats in this type of situation. If they have to stay separated forever, I can do that, but I hate splitting my time between the two, since both need more of my attention than either one is getting now. I definitely won't even start to introduce until she is spayed and healed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
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    16,694
    Good job rescuing this 3 year old! She is going to show you love many times over.

    I keep them separate for 1 to 3 weeks. I have towels in their bedding, then start switching the towels so both can get the scent of the other one. Initially I only let them out together when I home AND HAVE THE TIME to observe them. Keep a water squirt bottle handy, to break up any interactions that get out of hand. Expect some hissing perhaps even a growl once or twice. NO charging one another allowed! (I don't know if the older one will bother with charging, doesn't sound like it.)

    It doesn't sound like you will have much trouble, the young one is used to living with others, and the older one likely just wants to be left alone (From the other cat, not from you, lol). So expect that they will be able to live in peace, don't expect them to be best buddies and play together.

    Be sure you have at least 2 litter boxes, not set next to each other. Sometimes in the early stages, one cat will 'guard' the boxes and not allow the other to use them. Hence, separate the boxes, and only one can be guarded at a time. You may want to feed them separately for a time as well, but eventually you can just set out one bowl and they will munch from it.

    I said 1 to 3 weeks, I base this on how they are with the switched towels, and my patience dealing with the closed door, etc. You may bring them out when you are available to watch, then put them back in separate rooms while you cook, clean, even watching TV (especially if you are into the Olympics just now) your attention is not going to be wholly on them. Over time, let each take a turn being closed in the bedroom while the other has the whole house and access to you. Remember, the newbie needs time out and about to learn her way around the house, find where you keep things, the good places to jump up or crawl under in case she wants to retreat from the other one. So don't always keep her in the separate room.

    If you can, you may want to keep them separate until after she recovers from her spay. Even if you have them out together, consider separating them again while she is healing, you don't want her to jump or run and open her surgery site.

    Only issue I can see you may have is, the 3 year old will want to try and play with the oldie, and he may just not be up to it. If she pays attention, he will let her know to go away, stop, etc. and she will leave him be. If she is too full of young cat energy to pay attention to his warnings, he may have to snarl, swat her, etc to get her to mind her elders!

    Good luck, let us know how it goes and share some photos!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Posts
    18,317
    Freedom is right on.

    I don't think there's anything I can add.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Introducing new cat to current cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    Good job rescuing this 3 year old! She is going to show you love many times over.

    I keep them separate for 1 to 3 weeks. I have towels in their bedding, then start switching the towels so both can get the scent of the other one. Initially I only let them out together when I home AND HAVE THE TIME to observe them. Keep a water squirt bottle handy, to break up any interactions that get out of hand. Expect some hissing perhaps even a growl once or twice. NO charging one another allowed! (I don't know if the older one will bother with charging, doesn't sound like it.)

    It doesn't sound like you will have much trouble, the young one is used to living with others, and the older one likely just wants to be left alone (From the other cat, not from you, lol). So expect that they will be able to live in peace, don't expect them to be best buddies and play together.

    Be sure you have at least 2 litter boxes, not set next to each other. Sometimes in the early stages, one cat will 'guard' the boxes and not allow the other to use them. Hence, separate the boxes, and only one can be guarded at a time. You may want to feed them separately for a time as well, but eventually you can just set out one bowl and they will munch from it.

    I said 1 to 3 weeks, I base this on how they are with the switched towels, and my patience dealing with the closed door, etc. You may bring them out when you are available to watch, then put them back in separate rooms while you cook, clean, even watching TV (especially if you are into the Olympics just now) your attention is not going to be wholly on them. Over time, let each take a turn being closed in the bedroom while the other has the whole house and access to you. Remember, the newbie needs time out and about to learn her way around the house, find where you keep things, the good places to jump up or crawl under in case she wants to retreat from the other one. So don't always keep her in the separate room.

    If you can, you may want to keep them separate until after she recovers from her spay. Even if you have them out together, consider separating them again while she is healing, you don't want her to jump or run and open her surgery site.

    Only issue I can see you may have is, the 3 year old will want to try and play with the oldie, and he may just not be up to it. If she pays attention, he will let her know to go away, stop, etc. and she will leave him be. If she is too full of young cat energy to pay attention to his warnings, he may have to snarl, swat her, etc to get her to mind her elders!

    Good luck, let us know how it goes and share some photos!!!
    All fantastic advice for sure. My current 17 yr old is in my photos in my profile here; I will have to get the new one up there too. My only concern is that the 17 yr old is blind; he may freak out more than normal not being able to see her, and he is a pretty possessive Siamese, so I really have my doubts about all of this. I definitely will not even try to get them together until WELL after she has healed, and yes, I am into the Olympics big time! I see you are a "neighbor" in RI, I am just outside of Hartford, CT myself. I agree, I am NOT a fan of having to make sure I keep the door closed and make sure neither of them darts to the other side.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,142

    Introducing new cat to current cat

    Quote Originally Posted by moosmom View Post
    Freedom is right on.

    I don't think there's anything I can add.
    But thank you for taking the time to look at my issue for me anyway! Appreciate it. Barb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Waltham, MA, USA
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    35,979
    Quote Originally Posted by Barbiecat1 View Post
    All fantastic advice for sure. My current 17 yr old is in my photos in my profile here; I will have to get the new one up there too. My only concern is that the 17 yr old is blind; he may freak out more than normal not being able to see her, and he is a pretty possessive Siamese, so I really have my doubts about all of this. I definitely will not even try to get them together until WELL after she has healed, and yes, I am into the Olympics big time! I see you are a "neighbor" in RI, I am just outside of Hartford, CT myself. I agree, I am NOT a fan of having to make sure I keep the door closed and make sure neither of them darts to the other side.
    His sense of smell will trump anything he could gain from sight, cat's noses are so much more sensitive than ours, and so the swapping of towels to get him used to her scent is more important then usual!
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Posts
    18,317
    Barbiecat1,

    You're in CT??? I'm in East Hartford!!! What a small world! Would love to meet you sometime and maybe even your puddies!!!

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,142

    meet

    We've already met Donna, remember the time I met you at your place of work in Manchester? I live right near the mall in South Windsor! Sure, we can meet again; maybe you can help me in person with the cat introductions, since you seem to be a cat lady!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
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    Cat introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    His sense of smell will trump anything he could gain from sight, cat's noses are so much more sensitive than ours, and so the swapping of towels to get him used to her scent is more important then usual!
    Thank you for saying that, I thought it would help too. She is getting spayed in a few weeks; should I wait to even start this introduction till she is healed from that?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Posts
    18,317
    Barbiecat1,

    Oh yeah, I completely forgot!!! I'd love to help you anyway I can. I'll PM you with my phone number. Give me a call.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,142

    Cat introduction

    That would be great. Thanks. I know you have had tons of kitties in your life (and still do), but I have NEVER had to integrate cats, and have had many tears and sleepless nights worrying about how to start and if it will ever work out. I don't want to stress the old guy (Koko) into death over this; he is the one I am more concerned about, not Nugget (the Tortie girl)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,142

    Introducing old cat to new one

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    Good job rescuing this 3 year old! She is going to show you love many times over.

    I keep them separate for 1 to 3 weeks. I have towels in their bedding, then start switching the towels so both can get the scent of the other one. Initially I only let them out together when I home AND HAVE THE TIME to observe them. Keep a water squirt bottle handy, to break up any interactions that get out of hand. Expect some hissing perhaps even a growl once or twice. NO charging one another allowed! (I don't know if the older one will bother with charging, doesn't sound like it.)

    It doesn't sound like you will have much trouble, the young one is used to living with others, and the older one likely just wants to be left alone (From the other cat, not from you, lol). So expect that they will be able to live in peace, don't expect them to be best buddies and play together.

    Be sure you have at least 2 litter boxes, not set next to each other. Sometimes in the early stages, one cat will 'guard' the boxes and not allow the other to use them. Hence, separate the boxes, and only one can be guarded at a time. You may want to feed them separately for a time as well, but eventually you can just set out one bowl and they will munch from it.

    I said 1 to 3 weeks, I base this on how they are with the switched towels, and my patience dealing with the closed door, etc. You may bring them out when you are available to watch, then put them back in separate rooms while you cook, clean, even watching TV (especially if you are into the Olympics just now) your attention is not going to be wholly on them. Over time, let each take a turn being closed in the bedroom while the other has the whole house and access to you. Remember, the newbie needs time out and about to learn her way around the house, find where you keep things, the good places to jump up or crawl under in case she wants to retreat from the other one. So don't always keep her in the separate room.

    If you can, you may want to keep them separate until after she recovers from her spay. Even if you have them out together, consider separating them again while she is healing, you don't want her to jump or run and open her surgery site.

    Only issue I can see you may have is, the 3 year old will want to try and play with the oldie, and he may just not be up to it. If she pays attention, he will let her know to go away, stop, etc. and she will leave him be. If she is too full of young cat energy to pay attention to his warnings, he may have to snarl, swat her, etc to get her to mind her elders!

    Good luck, let us know how it goes and share some photos!!!
    You said "over time, let each take a turn being closed in the bedroom while the other has the whole house and access to you. Remember, the newbie needs time out and about to learn her way around the house, find where you keep things, the good places to jump up or crawl under in case she wants to retreat from the other one. So don't always keep her in the separate room." However, I don't think I should start this until after she is spayed, right? Not right now. Also, I am going to manufacture a fake screen door where the solid door between them is now, so that they can have access to each other but not physically. I also bought a folding metal dog kennel that I thought I would set up in the part of the house that my older guy is in, and put the newbie in there so that they could start having some interaction, again without being able to swat each other. This would be my last step before trying to get them together without any restraints. Does all this sound ok? If all this doesn't work out, I may have to give her up, and at this point I don't know if it will break my heart or not, since I am (somewhat) not attached to her completely yet.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,142

    New cat attacking old, blind cat-what can I do to stop this? Blind cat doesn't see new cat coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbiecat1 View Post
    You said "over time, let each take a turn being closed in the bedroom while the other has the whole house and access to you. Remember, the newbie needs time out and about to learn her way around the house, find where you keep things, the good places to jump up or crawl under in case she wants to retreat from the other one. So don't always keep her in the separate room." However, I don't think I should start this until after she is spayed, right? Not right now. Also, I am going to manufacture a fake screen door where the solid door between them is now, so that they can have access to each other but not physically. I also bought a folding metal dog kennel that I thought I would set up in the part of the house that my older guy is in, and put the newbie in there so that they could start having some interaction, again without being able to swat each other. This would be my last step before trying to get them together without any restraints. Does all this sound ok? If all this doesn't work out, I may have to give her up, and at this point I don't know if it will break my heart or not, since I am (somewhat) not attached to her completely yet.
    I like the new cat, but she is attacking my old cat and making him fearful. What can I do to stop this? When I keep her apart, she cries all the time to be with us

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